's a look at some of the stories we're following this hour. the japanese government has launched a task force to combat terrorism in the wake of a deadly hostage crisis. nhk has spoken with two former members of the islamic state militant group for insight about its leadership and its goals. and, decontaminating fukushima. work has begun on storage spaces for radioactive waste.
leaders in japan are reviewing the government's response to the apparent killings of two japanese nationals in syria. officials are strengthening their efforts to prevent acts of terror in the wake of the hostage crisis. and they say they'll work with experts to craft new measures to tackle terrorism. the government has launched an anti-terror task force at the prime minister's office. chief cabinet secretary yoshihide suga is in charge. suga has met with foreign and justice state ministers to discuss specific measures. he said japan must thoroughly re-examine its anti-terror policies. members of the task force are looking at ways to block terrorists from entering japan and prevent transfers of money to islamic state and other terrorist groups. they're also working to improve the safety of japanese traveling overseas. foreign ministry officials warn freelance journalist kenji goto three times to stay out of syria. after he went there militants say they're with islamic state announced they captured and then
killed him. dozens of people in jordan came together and held a vigil for goto. >> we are kenji goto! we are kenji goto! >> they lit candles in front of the japanese embassy in amman where the government set up a task force. they called for jordanian pilot lieutenant mu'ath kaseasbeh's safe return back home. and they also expressed their determination to never give in to terrorism. >> we came here to stand with the great people of japan, with their -- of their loss and of course, stand against terrorism. >> japan's state minister for foreign affairs nakayama took part. >> translator: on behalf of the japanese government, i would sincerely like to thank everyone who came here to express their condolences on the death of two japanese nationals.
>> jack yam ma also gave the crowd a letter written in english. >> we wish the safe return of the brave jordanian pilot. >> many of the supporters say people in japan and jordan came together to overcome the tragedy and work to strengthen their ties. leaders in amman have had -- not had any news about the pilot. a military analysts say members of the group are proposing -- purposely, rather withholding information and waging psychological warfare. >> by not giving the answer this is you know the whole starts speculation what's going to happen where is he? is he dead or alive? things like that. they're probably playing games on that. but at the end of it they have to come with an answer. >> nowar says the best strategy is to wait and see what the militants do next. members of islamic state had
demanded that the jordanian government release an iraqi woman being held on death row. they said they would exchange sajida al rishawi for goto. they threatened to kill the pilot if their demand wasn't met. jordanian officials said they first wanted proof that he is still alive. the retired general said islamic state militants have been trying to drive a wedge between japan and jordan. he said they did this by offering to exchange goto but not the jordanian hostage. the former jordanian prime minister said leaders in amman had considered freeing more than one prisoner for both the pilot and goto. taher al masri cited information he obtained from government officials. >> if he was alive, they were ready to exchange him with something more than one person like this lady imprisoned in jordan. we could have reached an agreement. >> al masri said the militants spoke only about freeing goto
and didn't provide any information about the pilot, so he said jordanian leaders suspected the militants were trying to create turmoil and that both hostages would end up being killed. we're learning more about islamic state militants from two former members. they say many of the group's leaders gained their experience as part of the saddam hussein regime in iraq. >> this man used to be a fighter for islamic state. he says he knows the group's leader abu bakr al baghdadi by sight. >> translator: it's him, baghdadi. this one also seems to be him. >> reporter: he says he reported directly to the group's senior members. he joined islamic state two years ago, and remained close to its inner circle for seven months. but he said the group's brutality was repulsive to him, so he quit. he showed us a chart of islamic state's organizational structure.
>> translator: there were two commanders under baghdadi. one of them was in charge of syria. and the other in charge of iraq. i was with the organization in syria. >> reporter: he said the commander responsible for syria was originally from iraq. >> translator: before he came to syria, my commander was a founding member of the islamic state in iraq. he was assigned to syria because he showed himself to be very capable at what he does. >> reporter: nhk also spoke to a former member of islamic state. his commanders have placed him in charge of an oil field. we asked him about the group's top officers. he said baghdadi is only the
religious leader. and that true influence lies in the hands of a man called anbari who is the head of the military arm. >> translator: anbari is the one who has more power. >> reporter: the former member told us about the group's highest decision-making body. the equivalent of its cabinet. >> translator: all the influential figures in islamic state are former members of the iraqi military from the time of the saddam hussein regime. they're the ones who really control the group. >> reporter: he says the world sees foreign fighters as the face of islamic state. but the truth is the leaders have ties to hussein's military and the former ruling baath party. >> the former high-ranking members of the hussein regime want to get back the power they lost in the iraq war. they want to bring down syria, and cause the current islamic
world to collapse in the name of religion. islamic state wants to expand the area controls to include countries like jordan lebanon, and saudi arabia. an expert on middle eastern politics says it's time to consider japan's relations with the region. kazuo takahashi is a professor at the open university in jan and and gave us his insight. >> i think this is a wake-up call for the japanese nation. it's about time that the japanese should be discussing its position its policy toward the middle east. i think prime minister abe should be talking more to the japanese public about his policy to the middle east and japanese media should be questioning him about his foreign policy and japanese public should be more interested in his policy towards the middle east. he should explain to the japanese public what does pro-active policy involves. what risks. what benefits. i think japanese should be armed
with better knowledge of the middle east. we don't have enough experts. so money should be spent on educate more experts. so that in the crisis we have more experts to rely on. i don't see the continuation of the japanese policy up until now, that is to support the middle eastern countries with humanitarian assistance and help in the efforts to build up the economy. i think that basic alliance is correct, but personally i'd like to see more of the money spent through the local and japanese in the middle east. that should help to increase the japanese presence in the middle east. that should help the young japanese to learn about the middle east, and that should help those ngos to build up their capacity that we should be representing refugees there in jordan turkey lebanon, but at the same time i feel as a
responsible member of the international community, japan should be accepting refugees into our own nation. so we should have an open policy toward the middle east but we should open up our society, as well. japan's environment ministry officials have been working to decontaminate fukushima prefecture following the 2011 nuclear accident. they're dealing with a massive amount of radioactive waste, and no permanent storage space. they started construction on facilities that could hold the waste for up to 30 years. but, they're facing some reservation from residents. bags containing soil vegetation and debris contaminated by
nuclear fallout continue to pile up. nearly four years after the nuclear accident those bags are still in initial storage sites. it's one of the challenges in the reconstruction efforts officials say they want to start transferring the waste to planned intermediate storage facilities near the damaged nuclear plant. workers started building temporary storage grounds on tuesday. the grounds will be able to hold 20,000 cubic meters of soil and other waste. >> the start of the construction work is an important step towards the transfer of waste. >> but officials have yet to secure the need landed -- or needed land rather for the whole project. they have faced difficulty in negotiations with land owners. evacuees say they know the storage facilities are necessary to reconstruct the prefecture but some fear the radioactive waste will be stored there forever. >> translator: we can't but accept the facilities.
otherwise, we won't be able to move ahead. >> translator: it's useless to object to the plan. i don't think opposition from a few people will make any difference. i just want to leave the matter to younger people. >> officials say it would take several years to transfer all the waste stored at initial storage sites in residents' yards across the prefecture. a pro-pyongyang group in tokyo may not be leaving its headquarters after all. members of the general association of korean residents in japan were forced to sell the property over debts. but the new owner is reportedly set to lease it back to them. the building has served as north korea's de facto embassy in japan. the two countries don't maintain diplomatic relations. the land and building were put up for auction at 2012 at the request of a government-backed debt collection agency.
the korean association owed about $510 million. japanese real estate developer marunaka hollings brought the property last year for about $19 million. they said they would ask the association to vacate. but they resold the property for about $34 million to another real estate firm. former upper house lawmaker mediated the deal. he said maintaining a plate for the association is a crucial issue between the two countries. he added he sought out a company that would lease the property back to the korean group. officials at the japan football association are taking action against the country's national coach. they've decided to fire javier aguirre because of his alleged involvement in match fixing. the spanish court has accepted the prosecutor's complaint against aguirre. the allegation dates back four years to when he coached spain's top league team real zaragoza.
>> translator: we want to avoid any influence on the team as the members prepare for the 2018 fifa world cup. we've decided to terminate the contract between the jfa, and head coach aguirre. >> the alleged match fixing took place during a game between real zaragoza and levante in 2011. prosecutors say the levante players were paid more than $1 million to deliberately lose the match. aguirre has denied any wrongdoing. aguirre was signed by japan's football association in august. in last month's asian cup in australia, the team was eliminated in the quarterfinals. in a statement aguirre wished the team good luck but soccer fans say they are still stunned. >> translator: i'm really shocked. i knew about the allegation against him, but we respected
his ability. it's sad. >> a spanish court will launch a full investigation into the allegation to try to figure out the flow of money. it's quite likely aguirre will be summoned for questioning. officials at a consumer watchdog group in japan are warning of potential danger to infants. they say fake baby carriers are being sold under a popular u.s. brand name and the products may be unsafe. officials at union say the carriers are labeled with the brand name ergo baby. they say they're working to get the counterfeits off the market. they checked the authenticity from 25 baby carriers from unlicensed online shopping sites. 14 of them were counterfeits and some of their belts fell below safety standards. japanese consumers have reported many accidents involving baby carriers. authorities are calling on manufacturers to i78 prove the
products and provide clear instructions to users. now for the latest in business news, here's our ron madison from the biz desk. ron? >> all right, thank you, gene pr starting with an update on the tpp this hour. negotiators trying to hammer out a deal for trans-pacific partnership free trade talks are reporting some progress now. they say they're a step closer to reaching an agreement on some intellectual property rules. chief negotiators from 12 asia pacific countries have wrapped up their latest meeting in new york. the u.s. official proposed the copyright protection for music, films, as well as written works last for 70 years in principle and said the clock should start ticking with the release date, or the death of the author. delegates from other countries expressed their understanding of the u.s. position. but negotiators do remain at odds on other matters. they disagree on the protection period for drug patents, and the amount of preferential treatment within the markets of tpp participateing nations for state owned companies. trade officials from japan and the u.s. have resumed their part of tpp talks on farm products in
washington. they're discussing reducing japanese tariffs on u.s. beef, pork, and rice. the japanese side is seeking a safeguard measure for the meat allowing them to raise tariffs temporarily if imports surge. now they also talked about u.s. demands to expand its rice exports to japan. japan's minister in charge of the tpp talks says he wants to accelerate the bilateral negotiations. akira amari said talks among all 12 participating countries cannot move ahead until japan and the u.s. resolve their differences. >> translator: i think we should hold another round of ministerial level talks as early as next month. >> u.s. trade representative michael froman has stressed that negotiators involved in the tpp talks are making good progress. >> the final tpp agreement coming in to focus, and strong expressions of bipartisan support for increasing made in america exports is looking like
some of that excitement will be in the area of trade policy. >> froman indicated he will urge u.s. lawmakers to pass necessary legislation that would give president barack obama greater authority to negotiate trade deals. he said this will speed up the final phase of the tpp talks. all right let's get a check of the markets now. european shares are trading higher. investors have welcomed media reports saying the greek government has stopped calling for a write-off of its foreign debts. the greek finance minister is reported to have proposed swapping debt for growth linked bonds. we're seeing our markets are doing pretty well right now. all of them are higher by more than 1%. paris is leading gains. it's up by 1.3%. well asia pacific markets ended the day mixed. sydney hit a seven-year high after the australian central bank decided to cut its key rate to a record low. tokyo, though, fell more than 1% as the stronger yen weighed on exporters. moving on to currencies now the australian dollar plunged to a near six-year low against the
u.s. dollar. after the rate cut the aussie slipped to a one-year low against the yen. traders have been buying the yen against the greenback and the euro. they're buying the japanese kur sin as a safe asset, after the u.s. and china both released weak economic data in the past few days. strong competition from south korean and chinese companies has caused toshiba's tv division to lose money for the last three years. the major japanese electronicsmaker has been streamlining production of televisions. sources say toshiba plans to sell its factory in egypt to its business partner. the plant makes sets for markets in the middle east and africa. the move follows toshiba's decision to phase out sales of tvs overseas. executives at toshiba are also talking to other companies about the possible sale of a television assembly plant in indonesia. toshiba plans to contract production of its tvs to firms from other countries. it will sell the sets in japan under its own brand. toshiba will still conduct
research and development related to televisions. all right. on to some earnings news now. two japanese electronics firms released their latest earnings report, and the results coming in pretty mixed today. sharp executives say they expect to book a net loss of more than $250 million for the fiscal year ending march 2015. that's quite a turnaround considering they were expecting a net profit of the same amount. but tough price competition harmed the firm's profitability and sales of lcds and smartphones or tablet computers. sells of 4k televisions were sharply diminished. over to panasonic where officials released results from april to december. they say operating profit rose 10% to nearly $2.5 billion. panasonic attributed the performance to its housing and auto related units. it believes those results are promising. the firm also cited brisk sales of home appliances targeting senior citizens.
heavy rains are flooding parts of the balkan peninsula, causing serious problems for farmers in the region. our meteorologist jonathan oh joins us with a look at the forecast. jonathan? >> hello gene. yes, we are talking about very very unfortunate problem that we're seeing in terms of flooding because of the weather patterns that sent constant waves of low pressure moving through along with a trough set up. when you have a trough set up that's an unstable weather pattern. it's bringing in a lot of moisture and then zumping it over land and that's when you run in to rain and flooding problems. i want to take you over in to albania to give you an idea of what it actually looks like on the ground level. where heavy rains have caused widespread flooding all across the balkan peninsula. villagers in southern albania rescued livestock after rivers burst their banks sunday. now, so far, no casualties have been reported. but homes, and businesses and farmlands all being inundated, and also unfortunately many of the livestock, many of the farm
animals have drowned because of the water. albania's not the only one facing all of this flooding greece macedonia, bulgaria, all dealing with the major water problems here because of this weather pattern that we have seen in the southern portions of europe. and we are going to see even more rainfall as we continue on into tuesday, another low pressure system has developed in the western portions of the mediterranean. and that combination of cold air wrapping around and then bringing in the collision with the warm air, that's when it's going to really pick up steam and bring rain into the italian peninsula and also into the balkan peninsula. we're looking at areas of up to 80 millimeters of rainfall in the next 72 hours. that may not sound particularly impressive but when you already have land that's saturated with water and rivers having problems when it comes to the rain this type of amount over this time period could be a serious issue. it will drop really quickly in some of these red-shaded areas where the rain is dropping really quickly and that could be a problem. on top of that we're dealing with severe weather, strong gusts and strong thunderstorms with the heavy rainfall
especially on the western coast of the balkan and italian peninsula, also into portions of northern africa. this is all going to be a bit of a nasty combination as we go throughout tuesday. so rain in rome also extending into the iberian peninsula. further up toward the north and to the east snowfall once again for warsaw moscow and kiev as we go through tuesday. snow is an issue as we take a look at the forecast for north america. we already had some record amount of snowfall in one week record-setting snowfall in to the new england states. and we're looking at a range anywhere from 50 to 60 or more centimeters of snowfall that took place during the storm period just from this past weekend. you add on top of the snowfall from the week before it's really big deal. and i think we're going to see even more of this active weather as we go through the week. high pressure right now trying to move in. so drier for just a little bit into the new england states and the southern portions of canada. but the low back toward the west will generate some more steam, picking up the moisture moving over the great lakes and that's going to bring some snowfall into the windy city into
chicago, and into toronto and also to new york as we go later on this week. so look at this. high of negative 3 with some snow in chicago extending into toronto as we go into tuesday night down toward the south we're going to see cooler temperatures single digit readings into d.c. and atlanta. now the snowfall mechanism for northern portions of jan be, that's winding down as the low pressure system slowly pulls out. but we have another low that's going to try to develop itself south of japan. and as this moves toward the north, as we go through wednesday, it's going to bring the possibility of some mixed precipitation into the korean peninsula, and then possibly by thursday we're looking at a chance for some snow again in tokyo. and so look out for that. here's a look at the forecast. 9 in tokyo, 4 in seoul, with partly cloudy skies for wednesday. hope you have a good day wherever you are. here's your extended outlook.
bronzes by the artist. these sculptures each stand about one meter tall. people had attributed them to michelangelo in the 19th century but experts eventually dismissed that theory. then last year resechers at the university of cambridge discovered sketches by one of michelangelo's apprentices. they were copies of drawings by the artist that have since been lost. one is very similar to the bronzes. >> we've garnered a lot of visual evidence. we've looked at all of his work paintings, sculpture and the surviving drawings and also copied drawings by peoples, and actually the work is stylistically similar to these bronzes are the works that he produced in the first decade of the 16th century. >> researchers say they must do more to determine if the sculptures are authentic. they plan to report their conclusion in july. and that's "newsline" for this hour. i'm gene otani in tokyo. from all of us here at nhk world, thanks very much for joining us. until next time, good-bye.